Nageetah IsRaeL arit NZinga's picture

By Nageetah IsRaeL… – Posted on 16 January 2013

Please take what you need and leave the rest.

Richard: What do you mean by warriors?


Swiftdeer: Warriors are people who seek alignment with things around them, with the world around them, who reach out for knowledge, for the pure pleasure and beauty of doing so. A warrior is, in essence, someone who is never at the effect of anyone or anything, anywhere, any time, in any way. Warriors stand in their own freedom circles. They don’t give their power away to the tyrants, and that includes bosses. The tyrant is there as a teacher. But they don’t give their power away to the tyrant, male, female, or situational. The warrior’s way of walking life is in beauty. You simply don’t get your buttons pushed – that’s what it boils down to. Women get their buttons pushed out of their illusions about what is male and what is female, and so do the brothers.


Richard: There seems to be a very strong place, a center for women in the Cherokee tradition.


Swiftdeer: Yes. The power of the tribe was held by the women. These teachings I’m sharing were held and kept by the Grandmother of Medicine Societies and by the Women’s Society. For example, in our political structure, all the men holding offices of power did so only because they were voted on by women. Men could not vote for them. So the women constantly kept the power. If we chose to go to war, the women’s councils had to sit down and vote unanimously to go to war. If we went to war, we would never hurt the women and children of the people we were fighting. But we would kill every last soldier, every last male warrior on their side, if we chose to go to war. The only way that war could be stopped was if their women came to our women and said, “Don’t kill our sons.”Consequently, the Cherokees had 6000 years of peace. It worked.


Richard: It seems very balanced.


Swiftdeer: I think that’s what’s missing in our society and culture and context today: balance.


Richard: In your own way, you sound like a spokesperson for women’s – I don’t want to say liberation – power.


Swiftdeer: Yes. Because I know that everything is born of woman. I don’t believe it; I know it. I see it everywhere, in mineral, plant, animal, human, and spirit. And I’m a warrior and a magician; I have to go by what I know, not by something I would arbitrarily like to believe in. For example, 60% of all my apprentices are women. In the ways of our people, when I get ready to choose my death, when I get ready to go back to the Great Round, I’ll do a ceremonial teaching thing for about three years prior to my death, just like Grandfather did with me. I will pass on all of my knowledge that I’ve learned in the ceremonial way, in the magical way, to one man and five women, so it’s obvious where the power’s going to go. Now what’s interesting is that the one man will do more outward teaching than the five women. Men are fire beings, sun beings; we go out. The women go in and keep. It’s not that the women don’t go out and teach, just that it is not as much their way. They’re Earth beings. Men are Sun beings.


Richard: What direction would you like to see men and women going, and what do they need to do to get together?


Swiftdeer: I think what I would like to see happen is that we have to stop the war between us. Men have got to learn about that essence which our people call the woman and the little girl. And the sisters have got to learn about the man and the little boy that’s inside their beingness. Then, we have to start communicating to each other, opening, heart-to-heart, with full honesty. We have to begin to “speak the unspeakable”.


from Tribal Wisdom Gender